One of the most beloved chicken & rice dishes - the classic Yemeni Chicken Mandi. What"s not lớn love? Perfectly spiced succulent chicken, layered on đứng đầu of glistening yellow rice & garnished with fried onions, almonds and raisins. You"ll nail it with this perfect recipe!
What is Chicken Mandi?
Chicken Mandi is a popular authentic Yemeni dish that consists of 3 components: chicken (or any other meat), a Yemeni spice mix called "Hawaij", và rice. Sounds like a simple dish, right? Wrong! Because the authenticity is all in the cooking method! Mandi is traditionally slow cooked in an underground "oven", called a Taboon. It"s basically lượt thích a big hole with lots of coal inside, and the chicken và rice are cooked inside, with the chicken on a rack on đứng top of the rice so all the juices can drip into the pot.
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Because it slow cooks on coals, it inherits a delicious smoky flavour. Và because it takes a while to make it, its usually only served at special occasions và celebrations. Now I"ll admit this: as much as I LOVE Yemeni cuisine, I don"t think I"ve ever had Mandi that has been cooked in the traditional way. At least I think. My favourite is from my local Yemeni restaurant Monasaba, & theirs has been my inspiration!
This recipe is of course not cooked in the traditional way, but rather made for the modern kitchen. The result is super delicious, and its really easy khổng lồ make. So grab your Hawaij mix và let"s get going!
Chicken Mandi vs. Chicken Machboos
To some it might be confusing what the difference is between Chicken Mandi & Chicken Machboos. Meat và rice are the two main components of both dishes, but they differ in a few ingredients và cooking method. Mandi is cooked in a Taboon, while machboos is cooked layered all in one pot. Also, mandi uses saffron and turmeric for that yellow rice, while the colour of machboos rice is brownish/red from the tomato paste used in the cooking sauce. Both are delicious và worth making. Also, sometimes people confuse Arabic biryani with machboos, but that is a totally different flavour & texture! For more rice dishes, check out my rice round up which includes a variety of delicious rice recipes.
What is "Hawaij" spice blend?
Firstly, there are so many websites out there that claim "Hawaij" means mixture. It actually does not. The word is Arabic and translates lớn "necessities" or "basic needs". That"s because in Yemeni cuisine, this spice blend is a "go-to" và its lượt thích saying its all you need. Which is very true. Its one of my favourite blends, embodying the true middle eastern warm spice flavours.
Here are the typical components of Hawaij:Coriander seedsCumin seedsGreen CardamomCinnamonClovesBlack peppercornsTurmeric (not pictured)
I highly recommend buying the spices whole, toasting them & grinding them. It makes a world of a difference & its actually really quick if you have a spice or coffee grinder.
Notes on the Ingredients for Chicken Mandi
Aside from the whole spices (which are very available everywhere), you really don"t need much more. Here are some notes on the ingredients:Rice; I use long grain basmati for the best resultsOnions; definitely use white onions & slice them evenly. These are key!Chicken; I lượt thích to use bone-in full chicken legs. Using bone in chicken keeps it really tender và juicy. I don"t recommend you use breast for this recipe.The Hawaij spice blendBay leaves; these are optional but địa chỉ a lovely aromaDry lime; find these at your local middle eastern store. If you really can"t find them you can skip them but they showroom a deep earthy citrusy flavour that can"t be replicated with any other ingredientSaffron; just a small amount will go a long way. They add to the yellow pigment & also give a beautiful taste and aroma. But saffron is expensive so if you don"t have it feel không lấy phí to skip it.Almonds and Raisins; for that final cảm ứng in the size of garnish!
How khổng lồ make this recipe, step by stepStep 1, make the Hawaij spice blend so the chicken can have time lớn marinate. Place all the spices (except for the turmeric và bay leaves) into a pan và toast them for 2-3 minutes on medium high until you start lớn smell them. Keep an eye out because they burn quickly (I burned my first batch sadly).
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